I woke up this morning and basically had to get right to work- we had to prepare things for the lunchtime cooking session. It wasn’t that hard though because there wasn’t much to prepare, and since it was a billion degrees we weren’t doing anything too intense. We had shrimp in a tomato-cream sauce (I hear tell that people who enjoy shrimp enjoyed this), a salad with tomato, cucumber, and purslane (a tasty green but is very weedy and is going to take over the world a la dandelions), a classic Greek yogurt-based dip that’s a bit spicy, homemade pita dough turned into a leek/squash/feta pie (this is what Diane made at the cooking demo at Yale last year) and our homemade cheese! It was tasty.
We were done cleaning by around 4, at which point I went back to my room, crossword puzzled, and took a shower. I think. I don’t quite remember. We left around 5:30 to go get the people for the evening’s excursion- first, we went to the monastery, the same place from last week. Obviously couldn’t turn down the loukomades so that I think I have just about eaten the same amount of donuts on this trip as the rest of my life. That is probably a lie but still. This time though, we also had these preserved, sweet, black walnut things (I think they’re called καρυδάκι) that were unlike anything I’ve ever had in my life. They’re sweetened, spiced with cloves (my favorite spice ever) and turn into a dark, soft, ball, that you would never guess was ever a hard walnut if it weren’t for the nutty taste, which almost is completely masked by the sweetness. Then we headed a short way up the road to a small vineyard/farm for dinner.
The place was so amazing. It had the most ridiculous view of the sunset, grape trees on grape trees on grape trees, and tons of other vegetables, herbs, and animals. Giorgo, the man who runs the place, gave us a tour of the wine making stuff, and served us some of his wine. However, the real reason we were there was for his extremely culinarily capable wife Eleni. She made us homemade bread, homemade pasta with an herb sauce and a yogurt sauce and sprinkled toasted sesame seeds and cheese on top, soufiko (the thing I made at school last week, a traditional Ikarian dish), a big Greek salad, homemade cheese, and a chickpea and vegetable dish that sat cooking in her wood burning oven for 4 hours. Then for dessert she served homemade sour cherry ice cream with sour cherry preserve sauce on top. All for about 22 people, plus her own family. She is incredible; it was sooo so tasty, and nearly everything came from their garden. I really hope my vineyard/farm on Lipsi is just like this because that would be wonderful. This place wasn’t listed on the WWOOF site, but they do agrotourism, so I’m definitely going to remember it for the future if I ever come back to Ikaria.
It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of the cooking school! Don’t know what we’ll be making, but it’s another evening class. In the morning we’re going to the natural hot springs on the other side of the island!
OH AND LOOK a picture but it’s not exciting. I just thought that I folded the aprons so prettily this morning so I took a picture. Enjoy!!